Friday, February 16, 2018

Whether Parkland, Florida or Pensacola

There was a pall over the car rider drop off line this morning at the school, settled like a fog, forcing us parents to see what was right in front of our faces.  To our right in the passenger seats, and straining over our right shoulders to steal a quick glance at our lifebloods in car seats and boosters, we realized this morning that we didn't want to let them go, for what will happen when the fog lifts?

I drove home slowly, and the idiot passing me didn't even have his headlights on.  Is his faith that strong? 

I turn down my own street and see the high school boy that walks every morning, and I always have to do a double-take because he looks just like Daniel.  Is it Daniel?  No, but it will be him in just a few short years, if I'm lucky -- if I'm blessed with the few months it takes for him to shoot up two more feet, or few years to go to college, a few more to marry the love of his life, and feel the incredible gift of fatherhood that teaches beyond anything else the love our Father has for us.

These young kids dying makes me think about the kind of parent I am.  What am I teaching my boys as they grow?  I'm teaching them to be another Peter Wang, who held a door open in the school for other children to escape.  "Hold the door, boys.  Let others go in first.  Move over so a lady can pass, and then don't expect a thank you.  It's what you should do."  Give your lives for others, and say goodbye to your mother.   I'm raising them to be everyday heroes.  To do the things some don't.  To do the things most won't.  Mrs. Wang, are you proud in your grief??

A close friend of mine asked me if I talked to my sons yet about the tragedy.  And I haven't.  Because I don't know yet what I want to say.  My first inclination is to say, Run and hide and don't make a sound.  Find your own hiding place so that no one else can draw attention to you.  But is that what I would do?  No.  I would run to the ones needing help.  I would give my life to end the life of the possessed man taking all of the innocent lives. I would gather and protect like a shephard does his flock of sheep, protecting them from the wolf who seeks to devour them. 

My mother warrior spirit, the bear in me, weeps in a chair at a computer desk in a safe neighborhood where a multitude of birds sing, and fat little squirrels chatter and play.

But we can add to it all that the teaching profession can be added to the list of dangerous occupations. The lives of a few good men have also been taken, when already we are in short supply, and I grieve for their families, their only consolation for living the rest of their lives without their strong lovers, steady husbands, larger than life fathers...is that they died heroes -- heroes in the example of our God, who is our hero, and did a whole lot more than hold open a door.

Our Father God that was with me in the most intimate embrace, that saw the evil surround the cross that was this school and these children and brave men and women, has also created a place for evil to dwell when all is said and done, where fear now belongs locked in a cage with no possible escape. 

Since fear belongs there, good parents, mentors, and examples, we can make the heroes and the caretakers.  We can raise and influence the walkers on the coals, and the spiritual trapeze artists that have overcome the fear of any kind of fall, the mothers that are the distractors so the others can escape, the leaders who act as human shields, the brave hearts that run headlong into the evil fire to save lives. 

Valentine's Day lived during the tragedy because though evil tried to kill all the love, it could not.  It never will.

Our fights are now, tiring fights that leave us breathless and worn, but they cannot leave us hopeless.  We still have air in our lungs.  We still live, and love, with an endless supply of rest and strength when we turn to the right One.  And no matter how much fear tries to cover us in fog, we can still open our car doors and usher the little children outside to live, and breathe, and fight the good fight by simply doing the right things.

John 4:34-38
“My food,”
said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

Our hope is that our flesh and our spirits will not always be one, that the flesh will decay, the nerves give one last spark, the eyes close, the heart stop beating, and the spirit lift upward ushered into heaven by Almighty God.  Though He allows a physical death, He gifts lift to the spirit higher than the clouds, held down by no fog.  So we can float.

John 4:46-50
And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.
48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”
49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”


Matthew 25:40"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' 

And so our hearts are for the children left standing.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Followers of the North Star

We began because a man was called, and that man answered.  The eldest to the youngest all followed.

And we learned how to work side by side for a common purpose.

We covered over each other with faith, fellowship, and grace...

And it brought the ultimate joy to our lives, joy that we could not contain.

Though it sometimes it felt like it was hit or miss, we did it all together.

Two and half years can form unbreakable bonds between brothers and sisters of the same Father.

And just two and half years can change some lives forever.

Wherever we go from here, be it together, or apart (hopefully together!!!)...I know we will continue to follow the North Star.

This is dedicated to all of the men and women, past and present, who served at Northstar Pensacola Campus.  I am blessed to call you my brothers and sisters in Christ.

We are victorious. 

Friday, March 25, 2016


Our lincoln log cross hangs on the wall in the living room on this Good Friday.  My three boys and I didn't have one, and it's the one thing I wanted for my own place for as long as I can remember... ever since I was a little girl.  The kicker?  My son, Daniel, who was just four-years-old at the time, made the decision that would resonate with me every time I saw it on the wall. 

     "Hey, Mama??  Let's use lincoln logs to make our cross, and you can make a guitar string rope to hold it together."

The only thing holding it to the wall is the balance between the nail and the groove. 

And the only time it has ever fallen down was when it was knocked down by the Christmas tree we were trying to erect, and when I put it back on the wall I realized I didn't want another cross.  We didn't need another cross. 

So it is bound through it's center in a criss-cross with a silk-inlay Austrian guitar string.  The silk inside is the difference in these particular strings.... the softest fiber gives the highly flexible steel core the ability to ring and resonate unlike any other... just like our hearts.  Our strength can never be accomplished by hardening, but by being worked over by our Savior, by only becoming like the silkiest, softest, most open, bendable accommodators through the center of ourselves. 

The only way to keep from getting lost is to wrap ourselves around the cross.

When we are young and haughty, independent and headstrong, we are unfired steel, unable to see beyond even our own edges.  But this life we live, this God-given life, has a way of firing us down, does it not?  The hell-fire we go through, the pain, melts us into willingness to admit we don't have all the answers...forces us to puddle on the floor and rebuild from the inside out.  His death, His traumatizing death, forever in our minds is really the only act of love strong enough to ever get our attention... to really get our attention.

Our food today is that the death of Jesus Christ was already overcome by His birth in the first place....the birth a promise, the death the actual delivery of the promise, and... in the resurrection: the basis for everything we believe, that good will never be overcome by evil.  What greater thought exists?  Love will always win.  And as we reach for the Cross we reach for the greatest power... Compassion, Love.

Lord, we give you our attention today, like we should every moment.  You've got it.  Let the temple curtains tear.  Let the stormy skies rain down.  Your glory and Your fall and Your Love for us is in the rain today.  And let us have forever in our hearts the passion:  the groove that hangs in balance by the nail.